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Car Shock Absorber: Its Role in The Suspension System

A car shock absorber is designed to absorb and dampen shocks from the road, thus reducing the movement of the suspension springs and maintaining the contact of the tires with the road. They consist of a cylinder filled with oil, in which a piston moves.

When the car goes over a bump, the spring compresses and releases energy, pushing the piston through the oil in the shock absorber. This creates resistance that slows down the spring movements and reduces bouncing.

A car shock absorber’s ability to control the spring movements is essential for driving comfort. Without them, every bump or hole in the road would cause the car to bounce uncontrollably. Moreover, without the stabilizing action of shock absorbers, the tires would lose their contact with the road, reducing the vehicle’s ability to stick to the road, steer, and brake effectively.

Replacing a Car Shock Absorber

Over time, shock absorbers wear out. The oil inside the cylinder can leak, and seals and valves can wear out, reducing the efficiency of the car shock absorber. When this happens, the car’s springs are no longer as effectively controlled, which can affect handling and stability.

Worn shock absorbers can also accelerate the wear of other parts of the car, such as tires, springs, and suspension joints. Thus, replacing a car shock absorber can help prolong the lifespan of these other components and reduce long-term maintenance costs.

It is generally recommended to check the car shock absorber every 20,000 km and replace them every 50,000 to 100,000 km, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations and driving conditions.

However, changes in the vehicle’s driving, such as an increase in vibrations, a decrease in stability, or uneven tire wear, can indicate that the shock absorbers need to be replaced sooner.

Air Suspension: A Modern Alternative

Air suspension is a type of suspension system that uses compressed air to absorb shocks from the road. As with traditional suspension systems, shock absorbers are used to control suspension movement. However, instead of metal springs, airbags are used to support the weight of the car.

Air suspension offers a smoother and more comfortable ride, and it can be adjusted to fit different driving conditions. For example, the car’s height can be increased for off-road driving, or lowered for highway driving.

However, like all suspension systems, air suspension requires regular maintenance to work correctly. The car shock absorbers must be checked and replaced if necessary, and the airbags must be inspected for leaks. In general, air suspension is more costly to maintain than traditional suspension, but many drivers believe the improved comfort and performance are worth it.

Installing a Car Shock Absorber

Installing a car shock absorber is not a task for mechanical novices, but it can be useful to understand the process. Here are the simplified steps:

  1. Secure the car: Ensure the car is stabilized and secured before starting any work. This includes placing wedges on the wheels to prevent the car from moving.
  2. Removal of old shock absorbers: To remove the old shock absorbers, you will probably need to remove the wheels to access the suspension. Once you have access, you can unscrew the bolts holding the car shock absorber in place.
  3. Installation of new shock absorbers: Once the old shock absorber has been removed, the new one can be installed in its place. It will likely be necessary to compress the shock absorber to fit the space. Then, you can screw the bolts to secure the new shock absorber.
  4. Reassembling the wheel: Once the shock absorber is installed, the wheel can be reassembled.
  5. Repeat for all shock absorbers: You then need to repeat this process for each shock absorber that you replace.

However, it’s important to note that each car is different, and the exact procedure may vary depending on the car’s model. Additionally, replacing shock absorbers can be a complex and potentially dangerous job if you don’t have the right tools or mechanical knowledge.

This is why it is generally recommended to hire a professional to replace your shock absorbers. A professional will have the experience and tools necessary to do the job correctly and safely. Plus, they will be able to check other components of the suspension at the same time to ensure there are no other problems.

In the end, while it may cost more in the short term, hiring a professional to replace your shock absorbers can save you time and money in the long term, while ensuring the job is done correctly.


Whether you opt for traditional or air suspension, regular maintenance of your shock absorbers is essential. A car with well-maintained shock absorbers will not only be more enjoyable to drive but also safer and more economical in the long run. So, don’t overlook the importance of shock absorbers in your suspension system and ensure they are in good working order.